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Eleanor Hardy Named to Prestigious Travel + Leisure A-List—Again!

By Owen C. Hardy

We are delighted to announce that, once again, Travel + Leisure magazine has named Eleanor Hardy to its prestigious A-List of the best travel specialists in the world! Mrs. Hardy is President & Co-Owner of the Society of International Railway Travelers®.


A List 2023 Logo


Last year, when Eleanor first received this top travel agent honor, I quoted some of our many clients who were only too happy to sing her praises.

But business is booming. So this year, I’ll do the singing.

Eleanor hails from North Carolina and in many ways, she fits the stereotype of the “typical Southerner.” She’s very friendly, talkative and impresses everyone she meets with her charm and intelligence.

Eleanor admires the gorgeous marquetry of the Venice-Simplon-Orient-Express’ “Vienna” Grand Suite, one of its six over-the-top luxury accommodations. IRT Photo by Owen Hardy

But she has other qualities, essential to any good travel advisor, that may not be displayed right away. Continuing the Southern comparison, she
has the tenacity of a “junk-yard dog.”

In other words, it doesn’t matter whether you sweep the kitchen of the Venice Simlon-Orient-Express (VSOE) or you manage the Paris-based, multinational company that owns it (LVMH). Eleanor will treat you the same: with respect, dignity and good humor.

But don’t cross her.

If you play loose with the truth, if you demean your employees, and, most relevant to her A-List award, if you don’t keep your promise to Eleanor and, even more important, our clients, you are in deep trouble!

What do I mean by that?

Just one quick family story will suffice.

It was Sunday morning.

We’d invited Eleanor’s three sisters to our house to celebrate her late-January birthday. We were all making merry.

And then Eleanor’s phone rang. It was one of her clients, whose India trip had a problem. Without going into detail, let’s just say his trip had hit a “sticky wicket.” And he needed help. Immediately.

Eleanor called the American embassy in New Delhi.

“We’re not open on Sunday,” a voice said. “Yes, you are,” replied Eleanor.

Within an hour, help was on the way.

Want the IRT VIP treatment from Eleanor and our crackerjack team?

Contact us today at and learn more about our process for elevating your travel — from dreams to reality!